Pennsylvania: Runner from Ethiopia rule White Rose 5-Mile

By M.C. HELSABECK | York Daily Record

YORK, PENNYSLVANIA – The 32nd annual White Rose 5-Mile Run went off without a hitch, and longtime race director Clay Shaw, who has been in charge of the last 29 races, announced that this was his final year at the helm.

The event drew a field of 212 runners. This year’s race featured a new course and a new base of operations at Sovereign Bank Stadium. The race covered much of the previous course’s terrain, but in reverse order.

The field had an international flavor as Ethiopian, Kenyan and Moroccan runners joined the field. As expected, they also dominated.

The men’s race was won by Worku Beyi of Ethiopia, who sprinted around the new course in a record time of 23 minutes, 26 seconds. Beyi got off to a fast start and cruised to the victory, easily outdistancing fellow Ethiopian Tesfaye Girma (23:47).

“I was leading all the way … and never looked back,” said Beyi. “I run for myself, so I never look back. If someone’s coming, well …”

And he shrugged.

As for Girma, he is used to racing against his countryman — and finishing behind him.

When asked if he thought he could catch Beyi after his fast start, Girma said, “no chance,” through his interpreter.

Abraham Ngetich of Kenya (23:55), Abiyot Abebe (23:57) and Elijah Kitur (24:00) rounded out the top five.

The women’s race was incredibly close. The first four runners, all Ethiopians, were separated by just four seconds.

Meskerem Legesse outkicked Buzunesh Deba and Muluye Gurma as the runners sprinted to the finish line at the Brooks Robinson statue in front of the stadium. Legesse clocked a 27:16, and her two pursuers finished one second behind.

“Sometimes we race together, and I usually beat (Deba),” said Legesse with a laugh.

Deba, who is married to men’s winner Beyi, smiled at her friend.

“She’s very fast, and my legs are tired, so that’s not good,” said Deba.

The top American runner was Michael McKeeman of Ardmore, who placed ninth overall in 25:35. Justin Krebs of York was the top local finisher, placing 13th in 26:28.

On the women’s side, Christine Ramsey of Baltimore was the top American, placing sixth overall in 30:24. Melody Parshall of Dover was the top local finisher, coming in eighth in 34:24.

Dianna Golden of York, 55, placed ninth in 34:35, shattering the age-group record by five minutes.

Jeff Miller of Lewistown was the male Masters (over age 40) winner in 26:24, and Dee Miller of Lancaster claimed that honor for the women in 34:08.

For full race results, see Page 5D.

As for the future of the race, Shaw said it is “likely” that the race will continue. He will no longer be the race director, but he will continue to bring in the elite athletes.

This race was also the final race in the York Hospital Running Series. Visit for final results.